Marco Canola Takes Third on Tour of Oman, Stage 5
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rallied around Italian sprinter Marco Canola to produce scintillating results at the 2016 Tour of Oman. Canola sprinted to third place on the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman, coming in at the head of a charging WorldTour-strength field. He then followed up that podium result with 10th place on the final stage of the race.
The Italian sprinter on the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team showed great tactical prowess on stage 5 to find the wheel of green jersey winner Edvald Boasson Hagen moving into the finale, where he out-sprinted all but two riders to take the third position on the podium.
Stage 5, starting in Yiti (Al Sifah) and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, proved to be aggressive from the start. An early breakaway formed and gained ground on the field before being swept up on the final ascent, a mere 14km from the finish. It was on this ascent that Canola relied on his UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Teammates to pull him to the top. The squad worked flawlessly, bringing the sprinter into the closing kilometers fresh and ready to fight. A fierce headwind on the home straight required patience from the sprinters, and Canola timed his sprint well to best the majority of the field for third place.
The final stage of the race covered just 132km of racing, but was filled with attacks from the gun. Young rider Daniel Eaton, new to the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, took the initiative to work his way into the early break of the day and rode well at the front of the race, but as the race neared its completion, the escapees were retrieved by the pack.
Once again, the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train protected Marco Canola, who came to the fore in a fast and straight dash to the line in Muscat, finishing in 10th position.
Hendrik Redant, Sporting Director in Oman for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, was positive about the results, “In this very strong field with an outstanding Vicenzo Nibali, our guys did well. The race was very hard with lots of steep climbs and one big mountaintop finish.”
Redant highlighted the work of Brad White and Karl Menzies in driving the sprint train to the line, “Brad and Karl did very well, considering they came out of a year of racing with mostly criteriums. To fight with the best of the world is then more of a challenge.”
Noting that the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team was once again the leading Pro Continental team on the General Classification, Redant was optimistic about the next block of racing in South East Asia, “It’s a great feeling to be racing so strong. We’re looking forward to moving on to Langkawi and Taiwan with some solid results.”